Residents Upset By District’s Characterization
Published: July 17th, 2009
By: Melissa Stagnaro

OXFORD – The description of a session Oxford’s top administrator will be presenting at an out-of-state conference later this month has become a bone of contention for some community members.

According to the event’s online catalog, Superintendent Randall Squier is slated to present a session entitled “Go, Team, Go” during the National Staff Development Council’s 5th Annual Summer Conference, to be held July 19-22 in Boston.

While the session will focus on the strides the district has made in fostering a collaborative work environment and increasing test scores, critics say the wording chosen paints a dismal view of the district before the current superintendent came on board and inflates the achievements made under his leadership.

“It’s a misrepresentation. This is not Oxford that is described,” said High School Teacher Elizabeth Shaefer, refuting the characterization of the district as “three autonomous schools housing isolated teachers” prior to Squier’s arrival.

McDonough resident Fred Bateman, who presented the board with a letter signed by himself and other concerned community members, also spoke out against the description, calling it “disrespectful.”

Bateman also took issue with a line in the description which states that changes Squier has made have lead to the achievement of “perfect scores” on both the Algebra and Life Sciences Regents examinations, when in fact no students had received a 100 on the Algebra exam.

School Board President Robin DeBrita claimed the statement used a “different definition of perfect,” signifying that all students who took the exam received a passing grade.

“It could have been worded differently,” she admitted.


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